New iPhone SE Leaks Show Apple's Next Release Could Already Be A Huge Let Down

Apple isn't particularly adventurous when it comes to design overhauls for its products. Take, for example, the 2022 iPhone SE, a model that proudly flaunts the same design language as the iPhone 8, which arrived half a decade ago. For folks hoping that the next-generation iPhone SE will finally embrace an updated appearance, there is both good and bad news awaiting them.

According to leaker Jon Prosser, the next-gen iPhone SE will indeed ditch the bezel-loving look of its predecessor, but the design won't exactly be anything fresh. Instead, the fourth-generation iPhone SE will reportedly revive the iPhone XR's form factor. Apple discontinued the iPhone XR last year, but it appears that the company is unwilling to retire that design and will now use it for the iPhone SE series moving ahead.

Now, the iPhone XR wasn't really a bad-looking phone by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it injected some colorful energy into an otherwise dull iPhone lineup that barely went beyond the safe comfort of industrial silver, black, and gold shades. On the flip side, it is disappointing to see Apple recycling an old design for a few more years despite selling these affordable phones by the bucketloads and making handsome profits while at it.

The iPhone SE 4 may sport a familiar design

With the upcoming iPhone SE set to ditch its aging design roots, there are notable changes reportedly in the pipeline for Apple's next budget flagship and the iPhone lineup as a whole. First, it looks like Apple will finally part ways with the round Touch ID button across its smartphone and tablet lineup. Second, Face ID is reportedly set to become the universal biometric authentication protocol across Apple's entire smartphone portfolio.

However, a few reports claim that despite rocking a wide boat-shaped notch, the upcoming iPhone SE refresh will stick to a fingerprint sensor that will be integrated within the side-mounted power button, just like the 10th-gen iPad and the iPad Air. It would also mark the first time the iPhone SE line will shed its compact phone legacy by jumping from a 4.7-inch screen to a 6.1-inch panel.

The screen will most likely sport an LCD panel without any ProMotion magic, considering the device's budget phone status. A chip upgrade is naturally expected, but not much is known about other hardware elements like the camera or Li-ion unit under its glass-and-metal chassis. Apple is rumored to announce the fourth-generation iPhone SE in late 2023 or early 2024. It would be interesting to see if Apple also bumps the asking price, but a small generation-over-generation premium can't be ruled out.